President Bonner releases video update on sorority integration

President+Bonner+releases+video+update+on+sorority+integration

Mark Hammontree

To view the video, please see our updated story here.

Twelve of UA’s 18 Panhellenic sororities can now claim black members, and all 18 have minority members.

UA President Judy Bonner released a video statement Tuesday morning in which she updated students on the results of the continuous open bidding that had been enacted two weeks ago.

Bonner said sororities had offered bids to 200 girls in that period, 145 of which had been accepted. Of the 145 accepted, 23 were by minorities, including 14 black students.

“The National Panhellenic Council, or NPC, sorority presidents have provided outstanding leadership, and the members have demonstrated genuine commitment throughout the process of continuous open bidding,” Bonner said in the video. “Every sorority has reached out to a diverse group of young women.”

Bonner noted that before formal fall recruitment took place in August, some Panhellenic organizations had Asian and/or Hispanic members, and some sororities had members reporting more than one race or ethnicity.

Although Bonner said that the administration will work with sororities in both spring and fall, she did not provide details about what the recruitment process will look like moving forward.

“You can be assured that the Office for Greek Affairs will continue to work with both local chapters and national organizations to provide support for all members, and we continue to develop plans for the spring 2014 and fall 2014 recruitment periods so our progress will translate into lasting change in the months and years to come,” Bonner said.

Bonner also noted the diversity of the Interfraternity Council fraternities. According to Bonner, seven IFC fraternities have black members and all have minority members.

“We are pleased to report that the fraternity presidents met and reaffirmed their commitment their commitment to diversity and inclusiveness with a resolution signed by every fraternity president,” Bonner said in the video.

Bonner also called for further integration of the National Pan-Hellenic Council and United Greek Council.

“In the coming days, we will also be meeting with officers of our National Pan-Hellenic Council, or NPHC, and our United Greek Council, or UGC, organizations,” Bonner said. “One NPHC and six UGC chapters already can claim diversity in their membership but these doors too must be opened even more.”

Bonner also recognized the involvement of students, faculty and alumni in the process, and while she specifically thanked the National Alumni Association for their support and for passing a resolution, she made no specific mention of the resolution passed by the faculty senate or the students that organized the Stand in the Schoolhouse Door 2013 march at Rose Administration Building.

“On a personal note, I cannot say enough about our students, our faculty and our alumni,” Bonner said. “They continue to encourage and support proactive steps forward, and the changes that have been made are due in no small part to their leadership and persistence. Special thanks to the National Alumni Association which passed a resolution expressing their total commitment to this important task.”

Bonner also said that other universities have contacted the administration for advice on “ways they can follow our lead.”

Bonner noted that diversity has increased in the sororities over the span of one month, fifty years after the desegregation of the University.

“Let me be clear; we have not reached our destination, but we are moving forward with resolve, energy and enthusiasm,” Bonner said. “We are determined. We are focused. We will succeed in creating and maintaining a welcoming and inclusive campus that is defined by access and opportunity.”